Note: The biweekly column of La Prensa
Persa (The Persian Press), is an opportunity
for members of the middle-eastern communities
to communicate and talk about the many
issues facing them, immigration law, civil
and constitutional rights to name a few,
which not only impact that community but
also impact the Hispanic community.
the First Time in American a Persian American
Running to be Governor
at Starbucks café in El Segundo,
I am interviewing a rather exceptional
candidate running for California governor
position - Badi Badiozamani. Why exceptional?
Let me explain. It was some 25 years ago
that a big number of Persians immigrated
to California as their second home. They
form a large segement of the states
population, some of them even in key technological
positions. But, now for the first time
in United States election history, a Persian
American candidate is running for a key
For Badi Badiozamani being
a first timer has been a part
of his life. He enjoys an analytical yet
creative mind that lets him grasp the
opportunities coming his way to help mankind.
Walking through his life in my interview
with him, it is the most peculiar point
that I can say about Badi. From early
times as a recent graduate in Iran before
the revolution he voluntarily went to
the deserted places to help people improve
their life conditions. It has always been
his doctrine to protect his cultural identity,
support humans and contribute to society
regardless of the geographical boundaries.
Currently, Badi is the director for East-West
Understanding Center. He believes that
all human beings regardless of their race,
sex and any cultural differences share
the same feelings as a human being.
Besides such humanitarian activities,
Badi is not a newcomer to California politics
and economics. Holding a Masters
in Public Administration and a PhD in
Political Science, together with 22 years
of living in CA, has exposed him to some
fundamental problems of the state. This
point evidently distinguishes Badi from
the rest of 350 names on the ballot. Badi
already knows the problems and already
has pragmatic solutions and
Badi does not need to start analyzing
what needs to be done to fix this $38
billion deficit. He has served on the
California Governors Joint Venture
Advisory Board and presently serves on
San Diegos Small Business Advisory
Board. So, he already has plans and shares
some of them with me:
1- He is running as an independent. He
can act as a catalyst between republicans
and democrats. This way he can be a consensus
builder to bring them together and bring
more transparency to outsiders like you
2- He already states that he will cut
his salary into half. Badi starts the
change from himself.
3- Being on Advisory board, he has seen
how CA credit rating has dropped . A brilliant
example is the %300 increase on car registration.
He has some plans on how to take some
hard actions to get over this problem.
Badi only approves budget for practical
purposes. A memorial building for AIDS
victims costing $200K is sure memorable
but considering current CA status, this
money going to research on how to deal
with AIDS is a better use of the money.
4- Reduce the tuition fees in CA state
universities. It is hypocritical for Badi
that all this propaganda is made to attract
people to better education and yet make
it more impossible for them to go to school.
5- A great portion of CA state budget
goes to retention centers. Badi plans
to bring private business to prisons.
In this plan, a prisoner is paid the minimum
wage so that he does not feel like a slave.
Out of each dollar received by the prisoner,
20% goes to victim family, 20% to prisoner
family, 20% for prisoner savings so that
when he gets out of jail he has some savings,
20% for daily expenses and 20% for room
and board. This way the burden of prison
budget is relieved from the state to some
degree and also the prisoner when released
has a saving. A total win-win situation!
6- Badi has some identified expert knowledge
that can reduce the traffic at rush hours
without building new freeways.
7- Badi believes that CA with this large
number of immigrants can influence federal
decisions. The workers who cross the boarder
to work illegally and support their families
should be treated like any other worker
with no abuse from the employer side.
Badi thinks of issuing temporary seasonal
visas that allow the alien workers to
come, work, enjoy the rights of a legal
citizen, pay taxes and go back to their
families at the termination of their visa
At the end of the interview I have a clear
picture of who Badi is and what his plans
are for the golden state as the governor.
I like the fact that he already has such
a transparent agenda that he can share
in less than one hour. Here, I tried to
convey his agenda to the Hispanic community,
a majority of CA population that Badi
respects deeply and is ready to explain
his view points for, should there need
be. After all, Badis fundamental
belief is that only dialog leads to better